Lincoln Riley Working on USC’s “Infrastructure” to Attract Caleb Williams

USC Football Waits For Caleb Williams 

While USC has added key transfers, the biggest transfer would be Oklahoma’s QB and the wait for a decision continues…

Adam Grosbard (OC Register)  —  If you follow USC football on Twitter, you’ve probably been caught up in the excitement of a “V for victory” emoji the last two weeks: The Trojans’ official Twitter account tweets the emoji, several minutes to a couple hours of speculation pass, and then a transfer commits to USC.

Only not that transfer. A talented or promising player at a position of need for USC, but not Oklahoma quarterback transfer Caleb Williams.

That’s been the cycle for the last two weeks as USC waits to see if new head coach Lincoln Riley indeed does bring his former signal-caller with him to Los Angeles. And the tantalizing prospect of Williams as a Trojan is a legitimate one for USC fans to get caught up in.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding his future, Williams opened 2022 Heisman Trophy betting season with the fourth-best odds (12/1) to win the prestigious award. His first game as a true freshman was to enter the Red River Rivalry late in the second quarter and lead the Sooners to a three-touchdown comeback against their arch-rival, Texas. He took over as the Oklahoma starter from there, completing 64.5% of his passes for 1,912 yards, 21 touchdowns and four interceptions, while adding 79 rushing attempts for 442 yards and six touchdowns.

So, yes, there’s a reason for the hype, and anticipation, and consternation as the decision drags out. Especially when USC’s last “quarterback of the future”, Jaxson Dart, is living it up in the transfer portal with visits to Oklahoma and Ole Miss, posing for pictures with former USC head coach Lane Kiffin.

All of this is to say, though, that the waiting game has had its benefits, and the wait might soon come to an end.

On the latter point first: USC rules dictate that a student-athlete must be enrolled in classes by Jan. 28 to participate in spring football. So if Williams wants to come to USC and wants to get a full spring to work with his new teammates, he has to make his decision and announcement by Friday.

But in the interim, Riley has done nothing but make USC more attractive to Williams.

In his lone public comments since his son entered the transfer portal three weeks ago, Carl Williams told Yahoo! Sports that preparation for the NFL would be the most important factor in Caleb Williams’ decision. Part of that comes down to coaching staff, which was a large reason Williams chose to play for Riley at Oklahoma a year ago. Something about a resume that included Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray and Jalen Hurts.

But you also need the right personnel to be successful in college to get the right preparation for the pros. And USC has spent the past several weeks building up the roster infrastructure to put Williams in the best position for success.

Riley has added four transfers at the skill positions in the past two weeks. The first was a familiar face for both himself and Williams in former OU receiver Mario Williams (no relation). Mario Williams is the type of elusive receiver you need, someone who can get open on a short route and then turn it into a 10-15-yard pickup, and just enough athleticism to go up and get a jump ball. He was a member of Caleb Williams’ signing class at OU and they connected frequently last year.

USC followed that up with adding Colorado WR transfer Brenden Rice, at 6-foot-3 a more physically-imposing and athletic target who showed promise as a sophomore with 21 catches for 299 yards.

Riley then bolstered the running attack with two more Pac-12 transfers: First, Austin Jones from Stanford, and then, most importantly, Oregon’s Travis Dye, who led the Pac-12 in total yards in 2021.

Dye is the type of workhorse back that any successful offense needs. His 211 carries and 1,271 ground yards last season would have been the best for any ‘SC back since Ronald Jones II in 2017. And both Dye and Austin Jones are capable pass catchers who will enhance the next USC quarterback’s options for checkdowns.

Whether that’s going to be Williams remains to be seen. In addition to USC, he has reportedly visited UCLA, per ESPN. There’s another report from On3 that LSU is a finalist for his services along with USC, though given how quietly Williams and his family have moved through this process, you can’t take that as gospel.

But in the interim, as USC has waited to see if it will indeed land Riley’s preferred quarterback, the new coaching staff has done what it can to build up the infrastructure so that next year’s quarterback — whether it be Williams, Miller Moss or someone else — has the tools to be successful.

And who knows. Maybe the next emoji from the USC Twitter account will indeed herald Williams’ commitment.

ocregister.com

_________

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John Weld
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John Weld(@johnnynumbers)
January 27, 2022 10:28 am

TONIGHT’S GAME — The No. 15 USC Trojans (17-2, 7-2) will host the Stanford Cardinal (11-6, 4-3) at the Galen Center on Jan. 27 at 8:00 p.m. The game will air on the FS1 with Alex Faust and Casey Jacobsen calling the action. USC’s 17-2 start to the season is its best since the 1970-71 team began 18-1 en route to a 24-2 record. That team began 24-1. FACING STANFORD — Stanford is coming off a 79-76 home win vs. ASU on Jan. 22. Freshman forward Harrison Ingram leads three Cardinal scoring in double fi gures with an 11.5 average.… Read more »

RialtoTrojan
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RialtoTrojan(@rialtotrojan)
January 26, 2022 9:04 pm

Another grading system of coaches has been posted. 24/7 has USC as a B and Georgia Southern as an A- Oregon, and LSU supposedly have better staffs.
Someone is mistaken and I hope it’s not me.

ATL D.D.S.
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ATL D.D.S.(@atl-d-d-s)
January 27, 2022 7:38 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Let’s go Brandon!

UtahTrojan
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UtahTrojan(@utahtrojan)
January 27, 2022 10:35 am
Reply to  ATL D.D.S.

Lol

ATL D.D.S.
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ATL D.D.S.(@atl-d-d-s)
January 27, 2022 10:26 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Is this April 1st already? Brandon can’t be this loco.

John Weld
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John Weld(@johnnynumbers)
January 27, 2022 10:30 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Sounds like a reporter who was mad he didn’t get a participation trophy for being or maybe his grade school coach yelled at him.

Steveg
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Mt Rushmore
Steveg(@steveg)
January 27, 2022 2:40 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

I read it a couple of days ago and left him a comment on what a moron he is.

Chris
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Chris(@chris)
January 27, 2022 9:23 am
Reply to  RialtoTrojan

ha!

John Weld
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John Weld(@johnnynumbers)
January 26, 2022 6:07 pm

Men’s Basketball | January 26, 2022 USC men’s basketball 2022 signee Kijani Wright has been named a McDonald’s All-American and will play in the McDonald’s All-America game on March 29 in Chicago, Ill. Wright becomes the 10th USC player and fourth in the last six seasons to earn the high school honor, joining Evan Mobley, Isaiah Mobley and Chuck O’Bannon. Prior to that, DeMar DeRozan in 2008 was the last Trojan-to-be to play in the McDonald’s All-American Game. Wright is a 6-9, 235-pound starting forward at high school powerhouse Sierra Canyon School in Chatsworth, Calif. He played his first three seasons of scholastic… Read more »

Wilson_Reade
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Wilson_Reade(@wilson_reade)
January 27, 2022 12:50 pm
Reply to  John Weld

Yeah, they didn’t invite Onyeka Okongwu!

They didn’t invite Harold Miner?

Selections must have been personally made by Ronald McDonald.

John Weld
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John Weld(@johnnynumbers)
January 27, 2022 1:14 pm
Reply to  Wilson_Reade

Nicola Vucevic should have received some consideration but never got the respect he deserved because he played during Enfield’s early years. Vucevic is an 8 year pro currently earning $28 million per year, just shows talent evaluators really don’t know how to judge a players heart.

Wilson_Reade
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Wilson_Reade(@wilson_reade)
January 27, 2022 7:24 pm
Reply to  John Weld

It’s worse than that: Nicola came in under Floyd, then played 2 years for Kevin O’Neill.He was drafted in 2011.

One of our players called KO the “worst Hunan being who ever lived.”

Wilson_Reade
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Wilson_Reade(@wilson_reade)
January 27, 2022 9:08 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Yes, he definitely is. Not sure I should out him by name, but he’s out of basketball now, in business back home in Texas. Was a solid player; asked to fill in minutes when not entirely healthy. (He did say human, by the way, not “Hunan.”)

UtahTrojan
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UtahTrojan(@utahtrojan)
January 25, 2022 6:44 pm

A lot of posts on here about Caleb Williams, I think everyone needs to settle down a little bit and wait out the process. If he signs then great. If he doesn’t we are still light years ahead of where we were this time last year.
It has been a long time since I have been this relaxed about USC football and I for one am really enjoying USC being relevant again.

Steveg
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Steveg(@steveg)
January 25, 2022 4:05 pm

Chris Akporoghene O line latest USC offer.
USC now #1 in portal transfer rankings.

Last edited 3 months ago by Steveg
Chris
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Chris(@chris)
January 25, 2022 3:21 pm

Caleb Williams is super talented, but I’ve grown weary with the process. Transfers already know college life, what to ask, what they are looking for, etc. make a decision already. If he doesn’t end up here, so be it. Riley will still have a really good offense.

John Weld
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John Weld(@johnnynumbers)
January 24, 2022 11:16 pm

Last edited 3 months ago by John Weld
Golden Trojan
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Golden Trojan(@golden-trojan)
January 25, 2022 7:37 am
Reply to  John Weld

Boy ESPN tried to keep me from watching, bounced around from ESPN2, ESPN News, one of the others. Either the Trojans like playing in front of a crowd or ASU is not very good. Trojans dominated in the second half. Peterson has a hot hand now.

Golden Trojan
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Golden Trojan(@golden-trojan)
January 25, 2022 7:38 am
Reply to  Golden Trojan

ESPN please fire Bill Walton! He is annoying!

John Weld
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John Weld(@johnnynumbers)
January 25, 2022 9:05 am
Reply to  Golden Trojan

One good thing about bouncing the game around like that is that I missed various parts of the first 10 minutes when we let ASU get out to a 22-10 lead with sloppy shooting and 8 turnovers. The rest of the game was thing of beauty and was basically over with 5 minutes left when AE put the second team in and in the last minute when he cleared the bench. I particularly enjoyed the last minute of the game watching the first string rooting and hollering for the bench players to score. If only the football team was that… Read more »

Golden Trojan
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Golden Trojan(@golden-trojan)
January 25, 2022 10:12 am
Reply to  John Weld

Yeah, I don’t know who it was but somebody hit a 3 near the end and the bench went wild! Good to see.

Wilson_Reade
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Wilson_Reade(@wilson_reade)
January 25, 2022 1:45 pm
Reply to  Golden Trojan

Amar Ross: 3/2 in 1 min. No fluke; he can shoot it.


Jamaica
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Jamaica(@jamaica)
January 24, 2022 10:04 pm

The more this strings out the more the idea Caleb Williams waits to the very end to see which program creates his best chance to succeed while Jaxon Dart stands by until Williams commits and signs with the loser. So both HC’s Brian Kelly & Lincoln Riley do what they can to build the best supporting cast to win Caleb’s favor.

usc50
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usc50(@usc50)
January 25, 2022 11:13 am
Reply to  Jamaica

There is no question that Coach Riley has the background to train Heisman QBs and top draft choices. Just read the article before this. But Caleb should make his decision ASAP.
He might look like a prima donna if he waits too long. And he should want to get into good relationships with his teammates.

RialtoTrojan
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RialtoTrojan(@rialtotrojan)
January 24, 2022 9:41 pm

I read a story that claimed Caleb had packed up and left Oklahoma. What I haven’t read is how far down the 40 he has traveled. I can’t help but wonder if LR is going with this theater. He’s letting a 19 year old make his choices for him. Either way Caleb is over milking this opportunity and losing steam. I wish him luck, but I don’t think he’s really the best fit.

alfa1
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alfa1(@alfa1)
January 25, 2022 5:38 am
Reply to  RialtoTrojan

Caleb and hid dad, leading Riley around by his nose is getting national attention, I’m sure this is going to sour the locker room towards Caleb if he decides to bless Riley and USC with his presence.
if he doesn’t come it makes Riley look foolish and left at the altar!

I am already turned off by the kids attitude and manipulation.

Williams and Dart both have Riley over a barrel !!!

Steveg
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Steveg(@steveg)
January 25, 2022 6:55 am
Reply to  alfa1

I don’t see it as leading LR around by the nose. What is the rush, if Williams comes he knows the offense, if Dart returns he has time to learn it. The media is beating this to death creating an impatience to hurry up and get it done. LR is building a TEAM, one piece at a time. Whoever is the Qb will be the one who is better off, be it Williams, Dart, or Moss. LR is doing what he does best, bringing it all together. I would think by the 28th we will know who is in and… Read more »

Steveg
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Steveg(@steveg)
January 25, 2022 3:51 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Or is it Caleb’s dad’s head. This sure reminds me of the Ball family.

Steveg
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Steveg(@steveg)
January 24, 2022 7:13 pm

Wonder if LR is going after Harold Perkins

alfa1
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alfa1(@alfa1)
January 25, 2022 5:43 am
Reply to  Steveg

He de committed from Texas aTm … Looks like Florida is the leader for his services.

Steveg
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Steveg(@steveg)
January 24, 2022 6:47 pm

Maybe the next emoji will be because Jaxson Dart is coming back and Williams and his dad can go think about it all they want. Whoever is going to play Qb for USC, he is going to have a conference championship caliber team around him, he will only need to carry his load to get there. It is tiring reading about nothing happening in the media. Heck with it, LR can afford to move on and get the guy he wants or bring up Moss and get some backup for him. Big win for USC if Williams decides to come.… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Steveg
John Weld
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John Weld(@johnnynumbers)
January 24, 2022 6:08 pm

The No. 16 USC Trojans (16-2, 6-2) will host the Arizona State Sun Devils (6-10, 2-4) at the Galen Center on Jan. 24 at 8:00 p.m. The game will air on the ESPN2 with Dave Pasch and Bill Walton calling the action. USC’s 16-2 start to the season is its best since the 1970-71 team began 17-1 en route to a 24-2 record. That team began 24-1.  FACING ARIZONA STATE — Arizona State (6-10, 2-4) is coming off a 79-76 loss at Stanford on Jan. 22. D.J. Horne leads three Sun Devils in double figure scoring with a 13.6 average. USC leads the… Read more »